FATMAP by Strava

French Trail and West Ridge Loop

Bay Area

An escape to nature from the city, and a prime running loop in Redwood Regional Park.

Trail Running Moderate

12 km
564 m
564 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
178 m
High Point
464 m
French Trail and West Ridge Loop Map

The redwood forests of the East Bay are some of the prettiest in the region, and they’re practically within the metro area. Redwood Regional is one of a few interconnected parks that show off second-growth redwoods and a mix of other forest types. In this expanse of lush greenery and furrowed hills, it’s easy to forget how close you actually are to the city, but easy access by roads and trails from Oakland make it super convenient for afternoon or weekend workouts.


This loop in Redwood Regional Park is one of the best for trail running. It follows swooping singletrack through hillside forest and climbs a ridge, then follows wider track on the ridgeline, with intermittent views through the trees. For the most part it’s well shaded, evenly surfaced, and gently graded. The loop mapped here is only one of many possibilities, however. Well-signed trails interweave throughout Redwood Regional and adjacent parks, allowing many combinations of distance and difficulty. You’ll want to come back to explore different running routes and find a favorite.

This route starts from Canyon Meadow Staging Area, inside one of the main entrances to Redwood Regional Park. Note that you can easily access the trails from other places as well, including free parking along Skyline Blvd or via trails from town. From Canyon Meadow, you’ll briefly follow the paved Stream Trail, then cross the creek and hit the wide gravel track of Bridle Trail. Soon comes the junction with Orchard Trail, a narrower path that climbs somewhat steeply to French Trail. French Trail makes a long and sinuous traverse of the hillside, dipping in and out of verdant drainages with lots of small ups and downs. It then makes a steeper ascent to join West Ridge Trail, a wide track that’s more popular and also open to bikes.

West Ridge follows the ridgeline, staying mostly under the canopy but hitting some clearings that grant nice views to the eastern hills. You still won’t see much of the city that’s just to the west. West Ridge eventually finds Orchard Trail to complete the loop, but if you’d rather run French Trail again, you can drop down sooner on another trail and retrace French instead.

Sources: https://www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood/



Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round

Guidebooks in this area